Lady Viking start sinks Southern Lee
Union Pines was ready to take advantage of a short-handed Southern Lee girls basketball squad right from the start of Saturday afternoon's game in the Yellow Jacket Holiday Basketball Classic. The Lady Vikings scored the first 14 points of the game and kept rolling to a 65-30 victory.
The Lady Vikings (9-2, 3-0) and the Lady Cavaliers (7-4, 2-0) are the last two unbeaten teams in the Cape Fear Valley Conference and Union Pines will host Southern Lee in a CFVC game this Friday night.
The Lady Cavs are without point guard Jasmine McIver, fellow experienced starter Erin Pickens and four players total. Union Pines showed no sympathy from the opening tip, pressing and running out to a big lead right away.
Maresa Smith scored a lay-up straight off the jump ball and the Lady Viking press forced a 10-second call in the backcourt on Southern Lee's first time touching the ball.
Union Pines cruised to an 8-0 lead by the 5:30 mark and a 14-0 lead only 50 seconds later. The Lady Vikings had a 23-4 gap when head coach John Lewkowicz made a full five-player line change late in the first quarter and Rachel Breassaeale's banked-in wing three-pointer at the horn made it 28-6 Union Pines.
Sophomore center Stephanie Johnson led the Lady Vikings with eight points in the period. Smith gave out four assists.
The Lady Vikings were able to play their reserves much of the rest of the way, something the Lady Cavs, with seven players on their squad for the tournament, can't do right now no matter the score.
With a 36-14 lead at halftime, the Lady Vikings turned plenty of defense into offense during a 10-0 start to the second half. Union Pines finished with a 24-13 advantage in turnovers.
Johnson tallied 14 points and six rebounds. Freshman guard Nyona Shields had 12 points and six steals. Smith had 11 points and five assists. Lexie Coxe and Breassaeale added seven points each.
Center Makenzie Cicogna led the Lady Cavaliers with 13 points and nine rebounds. Jordanna Kalkhof, while having to take up most of the point guard duties, had 10 points and five steals. Rachel Wilson had seven points and three assists.
Before the conference clash in Cameron, both teams will finish the Lee County tourney Monday with Southern Lee playing at 2 p.m. and Union Pines playing at 6 p.m.